Task 4 - Radio Hardware Development
The Goal of Task 4 is to create a compact package for a previously designed radio. This radio will be integrated with the firmware developed in task 3. Over-the-air testing will be conducted in conjunction with task 1 and “flight-tested” with NASA Ames personnel.
The final component of this task is the development of pin-compatible 2.4 GHz RFIC prototype for multi-band options.
Under this task, K-State researches and a commercial partner are developing two different radio technologies, one for researching in-suit bio-sensors within the space suit, and another to enable smaller, lighter scout craft for unmanned outer-planetary missions. Both tasks leverage previous NASA-funded research efforts in which K-State developed highly-integrated "radio-on-a-chip" technologies (http://www.ece.ksu.edu/research/mars ).
This work was coordinated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who developed the "digital modem" portion of the radio for use as a surface-to-orbit link at Mars. This research is being extended in this project to provide enabling technologies for future missions.
Here on earth, we are also working on smaller, lighter radios that can fit within the space suit and be integrated with bio-sensors developed in Task 1. This radio will also be used in the "In-Suit Propagation" studies in Task 2 and the Wireless-Networking research in Task 3 to research extremely low-power, energy harvesting communications for a comprehensive in-suit health monitoring system.